Home Uncategorized Tom Cruise “Jack Reacher” Clobbered By Major Critics

The avalanche of bad reviews for Tom Cruise in “Jack Reacher” has begun. The film maintained an 80 rating on rottentomatoes.com mostly from bloggers and junketeers. But now the big guns are coming in, and “Reacher” has slipped to 66%. It may go lower as a few more reviews trickle in. (The review in the NY Times is especially bad. Ouch!)

Third update: Down to 59%. Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post says: “A wildly ill-advised miscalculation.”

UPDATE Friday 12-21-12: it’s down to 63%. Second update: down to 61%.

“Reacher” is hobbled by circumstances beyond its control. It’s vigilante movie that begins with a sniper picking off five people including a nanny with a small child. In light of the tragedy in Connecticut, this will be a massive deterrent. Even gung ho young men may not want to see this right now.

I have not seen “Reacher” due to scheduling. I will try and see it this weekend. My colleague Leah Sydney blanched at the unfortunate connection to news events at her screening. It’s hard to evaluate this kind of film in light of current events.

No matter what anyone says, Tom Cruise did as little as possible to promote “Reacher” because of his personal problems. Even though the tabloid supermarket weeklies have him “reuniting” with Katie Holmes, this is fiction. Amusing, but fiction.

“Reacher” is a test for Cruise, who hasn’t had a real non “Mission Impossible” hit in years. “Knight and Day” was a dud, and “Valkyrie” was a calamity. Cruise is trying to reinvent himself, but it’s unclear what his constituency is after seven years of tabloid fodder concerning Holmes and Scientology, couch jumping and the like.

The other test is for “Reacher” writer director Christopher McQuarrie, whom Crusie wants for “Mission Impossible 5.” McQuarrie told this site’s Paula Schwartz that he’s been chosen but can’t discuss it yet. It may be Paramount will wait and see how “Reacher” does before giving McQuarrie such a big project. Stay tuned…

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
3 replies to this post
  1. I simply can’t separate Tom Cruise movies from his personal weirdness, although I have been able to do that with other actors/actresses in the past. Maybe that has something to do with his poor numbers. Many people seem to think Cruise is a freak, and are not willing to be manipulated by his films.

  2. I love the Jack Reacher books from Lee Child. And although I’m not one to easily compare books to films, I must say that not even remotely, Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher. I think it’s an insult to the character.

  3. Why can’t he promote Reacher because of his “personal problems”? He made the movie, and all he has to do is talk about being short was no obstacle, and stunts and such.

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